Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Gambian Pothole Rangers

When living on a sandy road with many bush taxis, ox carts and donkey carts potholes begin to develop.  These are not the standard American potholes were you can just move the path of the car a few inches to avoid it, you can’t avoid it.  So my host brother being the motivated person and a little influence from my host father I think decided I along with a few neighbor guys would fill the pothole. 


 My day started with him beating on my door “Forday get up! Forday get up!!”  (Forday is my Gambian name if you were wondering.) I was awake but just laying in bed.  I figured I probably should get up and see what he wanted.  When I come outside he asked if I was sleeping and I tell him yes I need my beauty sleep. He continues to inform me of the task at hand and tells me to grab my bucket and shovel.

So first we bucket all the water out of the hole.  While we do that my host brother climbs the nearest mango tree and begins cutting down large branches and limbs. 

Limbs and branches

Me working very hard

We then cut them up and get a good base of large limbs and sticks.  After that we throw smaller branches and leaves on that and chop them up with machetes.

After that we get a donkey cart and start shoveling dirt onto it then push the donkey cart to the pothole and dump it.  I bet we did 25 loads of dirt.    
Filling up the dump truck

It was successful the rain we got yesterday did not puddle up nearly as much as it did previously. 

Amadoo posing
It was a long day but at the end of it I felt like I accomplished something, the only bad thing is there are about a dozen more holes like this one on the road in the village…

Kaba finishing up, notice the stocking cap in 80+degrees and 80% humidity
Pa my host brother and a small boy